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10 Couples Therapy Techniques Proven to Work

75% of couples who attend therapy claim they feel better in their relationship.

Studies also indicate couples continue to make an effort to improve their relationship even after they have ended therapy.

Couples therapy is all about identifying strengths and weaknesses as they pertain to your relationship. Once you understand these aspects of your relationship, you can deploy a variety of couples therapy techniques designed to help you continue improving.

Today, we are going to take a closer look at ten couples therapy techniques proven to work. 

10 Couples Therapy Techniques

Many couples are exploring therapy today. Statistics show that 75 percent of couples who attend therapy claim they feel better in their relationship. Not only do they feel better, they continued to make efforts to improve even after therapy ended.

Some couples attend therapy because their partnership is in distress. Others attend to learn more about one another or to strengthen parts of their relationship, like communication skills. Couples therapy is no longer just for those who are trying to salvage whatever is left of a relationship.

Couples therapy is being recognized for the numerous benefits it offers all partners. The benefits are great due to the effective techniques used by therapists. Below are 10 couple therapy techniques that have proven to work.

1. Emotional Reconnection Techniques

Attachment therapy is one technique used to bring back the emotional and physical connections that may have been lost in a long-term relationship. This occurs by teaching couples how to decrease the number of negative interactions they share.

Emotionally focused therapy sessions have the ability to rebuild intimacy between partners, while also increasing sensitivity and recognizing the positive in one another.

2. Gottman Method Techniques

The goal of the Gottman Theory is to help couples see each other in a different, better light. It is not switching places or role-playing, but it does make each partner look at the other’s life through mapping.

Mapping feelings such as sorrows, anxieties, stressors, and desires give one insight into your partner’s point of view and world. Therapists work with couples to avoid misunderstandings that can cause arguments and negative feelings.

3. Positive Psychology Techniques

Therapists use positive psychology to help partners focus on the many good things in the relationship. Rather than focusing on negative traits of one another, you will learn to focus on each other’s strengths. Doing so, over time, helps you to seek out the positive qualities rather than pet peeves and nuisances.

4. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Techniques

Many call this “talk therapy”. This may be one of the most common techniques used across all types of therapy. It is popular because it works.

Therapists use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with couples because when both partners are able to speak and be heard, more progress can be made toward repairing or enhancing the relationship.

5. Conflict Resolution Techniques

Every couple has arguments. It is impossible for two people to spend their lives together and avoid disagreements. The way you argue can mean the difference between a successful and failed relationship.

Therapists utilize many techniques to help couples learn to compromise and reach positive solutions that benefit both partners. Therapists also teach you how to work together or collaborate, and how to give in and let your partner win the battle when appropriate.

6. Individual Counseling Techniques

Sometimes you need time to yourself with your therapist. Individual counseling is not a time to speak negatively about your partner, but rather a time to focus on your strengths and improving the qualities you bring to the relationship.

After all, you and your partner are two individuals, therefore, working on your issues independently can benefit your relationship. Individual sessions also provide the opportunity for the therapist to learn more about the family dynamics that you bring to the relationship, thus deepening the couples work. 

7. Communication Skills Techniques

Communicating properly involves both speaking and listening so that you both feel valuable. Techniques a therapist may use educates you how to communicate with respect and show you care. Therapists work to teach you how to be open and honest without being hurtful.

Techniques used by a therapist will also teach you how to accept feedback from your partner. It will teach you how to avoid putting up defenses and shutting down while being able to appreciate what your partner is saying.

8. Techniques for Dealing with the Past

Each of us has issues from our past that can cause us to react negatively in the present. This happens because we have not yet dealt with the root of the problem from the past. Whether it is emotional abuse from a parent, post-traumatic stress, or any other tragedy that can alter our mental health, a therapist will be able to help you discover the root.

Once the root of the problem is discovered, therapists will use techniques to help you conquer the negative feelings associated with the past issue and prevent future obstacles.

9. Role Playing Techniques

Switching places with your partner in the real world would not be an easy task. However, while in a therapy session, guided by a therapist, you and your partner can safely see one another’s point of view. You can also learn how your partner views you and vice versa.

This technique can be eye-opening and can help you recognize the changes you each need to make in the relationship. You also get a chance to communicate your concerns in a healthy, safe, non-judgmental environment.

10. Problem Solving Techniques

The couples who solve problems together can overcome any type of obstacle, together. Therapists use team building techniques to increase trust in your relationship. Couples who trust one another can solve problems using the strengths you both have, rather than the solution falling on just one partner.

Problem-solving techniques involve learning how to define the problem. There are times when couples do not agree on what the problem is, and sometimes one partner may think there is a problem while the other does not.

Problem-solving techniques also teach you how to evaluate the issue so that you can agree on a solution. Both of you must be involved in the entire process of solving a problem to improve your relationship.

The health of your relationship is a top priority. You do not have to wait until there are problems to start learning how to make it better. Learning how to prevent problems is just as important as intervening when problems appear.

You and your partner have something special. Attending therapy can make your relationship even better. It will not make it perfect, but it will give you tools and techniques to enhance it so that you and your partner can live the happy life you deserve, together.

 


Chris Massman is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Agoura Hills, CA. She graduated Phillips Graduate Institute with a Master of Arts in Psychology in 2014 and received her Chemical Dependency Specialty in 2014. Today, she practices Congnitive-behavioral therapy to help individuals, couples, and families identify and overcome a variety of unique challenges.